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Changes are being made to the delivery of services from Methilhaven Surgery to help ease the pressure on the Practice and improve local medical services for patients.

Methilhaven Surgery has been managed by NHS Fife and the Fife Health and Social Care Partnership since August 2022 and is currently located at temporary premises within Randolph Wemyss Memorial Hospital. The national shortage of GPs has meant the practice has been staffed primarily by locum medical staff and advanced nurse practitioners, with the support of physiotherapists, mental health nurses, paramedics and pharmacists.

NHS Fife and the Fife Health and Social Care Partnership took forward a number of short-term measures to stabilise the practice and improve access while longer-term plans were developed to improve the services available to patients.

Following constructive discussions with two local GP practices, an agreement has been reached to help reduce the pressure on Methilhaven Surgery and ensure more sustainable local medical services can be delivered for the Practice’s patients.

Methilhaven Surgery currently has a patient list of around 6,000 at present. In the coming months, around 3,000 patients will be advised they are to be re-registered at the nearby Airlie Medical Practice in Lower Methil and a further 1,000 to Muiredge Practice in Buckhaven. Both Practices will be supported with additional clinical staff to ensure each can maintain the high-quality care offered to their increased patient list while continuing to deliver the same high level quality care to existing patients in the practice.

Patients who are being asked to move Practice will be notified directly in the coming weeks, with the transfer of patients being carried out in a phased basis over spring and early summer. The decisions over which patients are asked to move will be based to postcode to ensure ease of access to local medical services and those re-registered will have the right to appeal.

Methilhaven Practice will remain open and will continue to operate with a considerably reduced patient list of around 2,000, ensuring better stability and improved access for those patients remaining.

Head of Primary and Preventative Care, Lisa Cooper, said:

“We recognise that many patients at Methilhaven Surgery have experienced real difficulties in accessing appointments and we committed to the local community that we would take the necessary actions to improve service provision for the Practice’s patients.

“Working alongside Airlie and Muiredge Practices over a number of months, we have developed longer-term plans which we are confident will help to ease the pressure on Methilhaven Surgery and improve local medical provision across the whole of the Buckhaven and Levenmouth area.”

Tracy Simpson, Practice Manager, from Airlie Medical Practice said: "We have all been working closely with NHS Fife and the Fife Health and Social Care Partnership to ensure we have the support of additional clinical staff, so can continue to provide high quality care for our existing patients and as we welcome our new patients as they move over from Methilhaven."

That was a thought echoed by Mairi Moggach, Practice Manager, Muiredge Medical Practice who added: "We all want to make sure we do everything we can so all patients will continue to have uninterrupted access to local medical services through the transition process and are looking forward to welcoming our new patients.